BOSTON – The Cleveland Cavaliers are as hot as any team in postseason history, and a third straight trip to the NBA Finals appears to be a foregone conclusion.
LeBron James’ teams are 20-0 all time in series in which they’ve held a 2-0 lead, and the way this one has started, that perfect record doesn’t seem to be in any jeopardy.
The 41-point bulge through two quarters accounted for the largest halftime lead in NBA postseason history, besting the 40-point cushion that the Detroit Pistons held over the Washington Bullets in Game 2 of their 1987 first-round series.
Adding to the James disrespect inventory was Boston rookie Jaylen Brown telling Comcast SportsNet New England before Game 2 that the four-time MVP was “Just another guy to me” and adding, “I have no fear whatsoever of LeBron.” It echoed comments made by Isaiah Thomas this week when he said the Cavs were “Not the Monstars. They’re not on ‘Space Jam.’ Like, they lace up their shoes just like us.”
James matched two playoff marks set by legends of the game in scoring 30 points for his eighth straight playoff game, tying Michael Jordan for the longest such streak in modern playoff history and also tying Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s record of 10 straight playoff games with 25-plus points on 50 percent shooting.
Brown, to his credit, backed up his statement about James with 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting off the bench to lead Boston, though 13 of those points came in a second half that wasn’t competitive.
“It’s great to be a part of. We don’t take this for granted at all; I’m going to continue to say it, because we understand how valuable it is to win on the road or win any games in the playoffs.”